As poor as the Red Devils were in the opening 45 minutes – City’s 2-0 interval advantage was the least they deserved for a rampant display – Jose Mourinho’s men were magnificent in the second 45.
Vincent Kompany – a scorer on this ground against the same opponents as City clinched a maiden Premier League title six years ago – headed the hosts in front, with Ilkay Gundogan turning and firing in a fine second in a rampant first half display.
They should have been home and hosed but a different United showed up for the second half, with Paul Pogba’s 90-second brace leveling the score with 10 minutes of the second half gone.
MANCHESTER CITY (4-3-3)
Ederson – 6: His excellent distribution fits the mould of a Guardiola keeper. Could do little for either United’s three goals
Danilo – 4: Somehow only received a maiden booking in the closing minutes, when he could easily have collected two much earlier
Vincent Kompany – 6: Remains a huge presence when fit and a scorer of crucial goals for City, but lost his composure as United fought back
Nicolas Otamendi – 5: Untroubled in the first half, seemed to retreat when United charged. Temper ruled his head in a testy second half
Fabian Delph – 6: A player regularly featuring out of position but he never looks out of his depth
Ilkay Gundogan – 7: Stunning pivot and finish offered a glimpse of the huge talent City still haven’t seen the best of
Fernandinho – 5: Supposed to be City’s midfield rock, but regularly gave away possession and showed his frustration when he lashed out at Lingard
David Silva – 7: Was at the heart of everything good that City did, but faded when United turned the tables
Bernardo Silva – 4: Commendable when called upon this season, the Portuguese was anonymous as he struggled in an admittedly alien central striker role
Raheem Sterling – 7: The winger was everywhere. Set up Gundogan for the second, but his busy display was ruined by a hatful of missed chances
Leory Sane – 8: Abysmal at Anfield in the week, the German was the architect of United’s first-half misery, tormenting Antonio Valencia
Kevin De Bruyne – 6: Dictated City’s attacks when he was summoned from the bench, but could not penetrate the red wall
Gabriel Jesus – 6: Thrown on as City feel behind but let the occasion get the better of him
Sergio Aguero – 6: Denied an equaliser by a breathtaking De Gea save
Paul Pogba sparked an unlikely comeback as Manchester United forced Manchester City to delay their title celebrations with a 3-2 victory in a remarkable derby.
City looked on course to wrap up the Premier League crown with a record six games to spare as they swept into a 2-0 half-time lead at the Etihad Stadium with goals from Vincent Kompany and Ilkay Gundogan.
Their advantage should have been greater as they wasted a hatful of other chances, with Raheem Sterling particularly guilty, in a first half that seemed embarrassingly one-sided.
But Pogba, the subject of much pre-match attention after City boss Pep Guardiola claimed he was offered the player, led a revival with two goals after the break before Chris Smalling snatched a winner.
There was controversy in the latter stages as Sergio Aguero was denied a penalty following an aggressive challenge from Ashley Young but United held on.
It seemingly remains only a matter of time before City, who are still 13 points clear, take the title but the manner of the loss was shattering coming soon after Wednesday’s Champions League defeat at Liverpool.
City initially fed on the raucous atmosphere as United’s attempts to play more openly than they did in their December derby loss played into their hands.
Young twice got the benefit of the doubt from referee Martin Atkinson after the ball struck his arm and and then after clash with Sterling.
Sterling repeatedly troubled the United defence and he played in David Silva, who fired over, and Bernardo Silva, who failed to get away a clean shot.
The opener came from a corner in the 25th minute as Kompany ignored the shirt-pulling of Smalling to reach Leroy Sane’s cross and power a header past David De Gea in trademark fashion.
The second followed quickly as Gundogan combined with Sterling and then brilliantly turned away from Nemanja Matic to poke a shot into the bottom corner.
Further chances came thick and fast as City found their groove. Sterling could easily have had a hat-trick before the break as he twice shot over after breaking clear and then hit another drive at De Gea. David Silva missed another opportunity and De Gea saved a Gundogan header.
Gundogan hit a post early in the second half but United, with the blue-haired Pogba coming to the fore after a dismal opening period, finally woke up.
Pogba first had a sighter as he forced Ederson to save low down. He then pounced from close range to reduce the arrears after Ander Herrera chested down an Alexis Sanchez cross.
That fired up Pogba, who moments later equalised as he raced on to another Sanchez cross to head past Ederson.
City tried to regain control but they allowed their concentration to slip as Sanchez delivered a free-kick into the area, Smalling got ahead of Kompany and volleyed past Ederson to put United ahead.
City quickly sent on Kevin De Bruyne and Aguero to retrieve the situation and the latter was aggrieved after going down as Young tackled fiercely in the area.
Tempers from both sides flared in the aftermath but United were to have their day with De Gea saving late on from Aguero and Sterling having another effort cleared off the line.
The Citizens appeared to be cruising to a comfortable win and another Premier League title as Vincent Kompany and Ilkay Gundogan sent them into the break 2-0 up.
However, a quick-fire brace from Paul Pogba levelled proceedings 10 minutes after the restart before Chris Smalling clinched the winner.
Here, we analyse Pogba’s performance.
Goals – 2
Assists – 0
Shots – 3
Shots on target – 3
Touches – 49
Passes – 29
Key passes – 0
Interceptions – 2
Dribbles – 4
Dispossessed – 0
Pogba started on the left side of a midfield three but seemed to struggle to impact the game as he spent most of the first half inside his own half. He did show moments of class but was unable to work effectively with what was around him.
The shackles came off in the second period though as he notably took up position ahead of Ander Herrera and Nemanja Matic. It paid dividends as he came alive in the final third and put City to the sword.
Threat – Even in the first half, Pogba always looked like the player most likely to make something happen for United. He was the chief goal threat at the start of the second period, producing three efforts, all on target with two finding the back of the net.
Drive – Particularly after half-time, the Frenchman seemed to operate further up the pitch and was able to drive forward from there. He followed the move for his first into the box and made an excellent run for his headed goal as well.
Held on to possession – Pogba looked like a player with a point to prove and was consumed by that desire in the opening period, trying to do too much. He held on to the ball for too long at times, trying to beat players when options for a quick pass were on.
Defence – The midfielder offered little in terms of defensive contribution. Failure to track Gundogan on one occasion should’ve seen United go further behind. His only tackle in the game saw him earn a yellow card for a foul on Nicolas Otamendi.
4th minute PASS: Pogba finds Sanchez on the left, whose pass into the middle is intercepted by Kompany, but the Frenchman should’ve spotted Lingard’s run through the middle instead.
20th minute DISPOSSESSED: Sterling steals the ball off him and drives into the box before setting up David Silva whose effort is well off target.
43rd minute DEFENSIVE LAPSE: Pogba allows Gundogan to peel off the back of him and have a free header on goal from Fernandinho’s cross. Fortunately for United, his effort is straight at De Gea.
49th minute SHOT: The visitors work the ball well and it comes out to Pogba on the edge of the box whose curling effort with his left foot is saved comfortably by Ederson.
53rd minute GOAL: Another good move from United. Herrera cleverly chests the ball into Pogba’s path inside the box and he lifts his finish over Ederson with aplomb.
55th minute GOAL: Pogba kicks off the move and bursts into the box. Sanchez finds him with a delicious cross and the Frenchman adjusts his body in mid-air excellently to get enough purchase on his header to beat Ederson.
81st minute BOOKING: With Nicolas Otamendi breaking away, Pogba chased back and caught him with a tackle from behind, halting the move but going into the referee’s book in the process.
The game looked done and dusted at half-time and the sky blue ribbons were on the trophy. It was Pogba’s coloured streaks that came into the picture again though when he headed in the equaliser 10 minutes into the second half.
The Frenchman was impressive in glimpses in the opening period but turned the game on its head with his brace after the break. After all the talk before the game, the 24-year-old wanted to make a statement and he did so emphatically.
All statistics are compiled using whoscored.com